The Promise of Forgiveness: A Novel. Marin Thomas. Penguin Group (USA). March 2016. 352 pp. ISBN#: 9780451476296.
Ruby, now aged 31, seems to be a natural magnet for loser men. As a result her daughter Mia is one angry teenager convinced her mother is totally selfish and has never given one thought to what Mia thinks or feels about their unstable life. Her plan was to move to Kansas for a fresh start where she could focus specifically on her daughter’s upbringing. However, now Ruby has received a lawyer’s note telling her to come to see her real father, Hank McArthur, in the town of Unforgiven, Oklahoma. The town’s name is obviously contrived but clearly appropriately named. Ruby is distressed as she resents that her natural parents gave her up for adoption. Meeting Hank, Ruby is determined to give him no easy way to her heart.
Little does Ruby or any reader, for that matter, realize that little by little, Mia and Hank begin to form a natural grandfather and granddaughter relationship. Both are tart of tongue and Mia seems seriously concerned about the poor state of Hank’s health. Hank would like Ruby to inherit his oil ranch but it seems someone else has different plans as different “accidents” start happening. Mia is the smart one who senses someone else with devious ideas is orchestrating the mishaps.
Joe, a ranch hand, and Ruby begin to hit it off, but both have past stories that need to be released before they can let go to care for each other. Mia, on the other hand, has Hank’s passionate love for horses. He begins to teach Mia how to train them and care for them as the precious possessions these horses are. This is really the highlight of this beautiful novel, filled with tender, funny and poignant moments the reader will love!
The Promise of Forgiveness is wonderful, contemporary fiction that is more than pleasing reading and memorable for the evolution of love that gradually but potently emerges! Very nicely done, Ms. Thomas!